After a well-received break, Rette Jones Racing and ARCA Menards Series rookie driver Amber Balcaen heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course determined to bounce back in Friday afternoon’s Dawn 150k.
After a solid run of races throughout May, the stretch of two short-track races at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway and Elko (Minn.) Speedway struck terror into the Mooresville, Carolina-based team. from the North, with unfortunate circumstances and frustrating results.
But with any tough trend in racing the tide will eventually subside and the landscape will change and that is exactly the approach Balcaen and his team led by Mark Rette are taking for the first of two road races this season.
“Last weekend’s break was a welcome opportunity for us to reset and refocus,” Balcaen explained.
“Obviously Berlin and Elko didn’t go the way we expected, but luckily there’s a lot of racing left and hopefully we can go to Mid-Ohio and have a productive race that allows us to get ahead of Pocono. Raceway in a few weeks.”
If not experiencing the oval tracks of the ARCA Menards series for the first time wasn’t a big enough challenge, Mid-Ohio is a road course with 13 turns, 2.258 miles and a style of racing that Balcaen has yet to tackled, but his focus on conquering the final challenge is to keep his motivation at the top.
“I’m very optimistic for this weekend in Mid-Ohio,” Balcaen said. “Honestly, I’ve been preparing for this for a few weeks now and even though I’ve never done anything like this before, it’s just another challenge to face.
“I just want to make improvements from start to finish over the weekend and if we can achieve that hopefully we have a good result on Friday afternoon. We have to start picking up points again and the only way to do so is to finish strong and see the checkered flag.
To help curb any forks in the road this weekend in Mid-Ohio, Balcaen will be working with former ARCA Menards Series winner and road course star Will Rodgers, who will serve as his exclusive driving coach for his ninth start. career in the ARCA.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Will and can’t wait to have him in my corner this weekend,” she said. “With Mid-Ohio being my road debut I will take any advice or feedback I can get and with Will being in my corner I feel like he can help me make some significant gains throughout. throughout the day.”
Balcaen finished 17th at Elko Speedway, her worst finish in four races, and thankfully didn’t drop many points on one of her goals to become the top woman in the championship standings.
“We lost even more ground in Elko, but Mid-Ohio begins our charge and retaliate mission,” she said.
“We’re not even halfway through our 2022 season and we have 12 races left in the year, a lot can happen. We’re regrouped and ready to fight.
“I am delighted that Amber is working with Will (Rodgers). He is an incredible talent on the road courses and I think he will be a huge asset to our Rette Jones Racing team on Friday.
For crew chief and team co-owner Mark Rette, he’s confident his rookie driver will continue to adapt and bounce back at Mid-Ohio.
“The last two races have been hard to swallow, but they’ve been even bigger learning experiences for Amber, so it’s not a lost cause,” Rette said. “On our last race at Elko, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Mid-Ohio is not going to be easy but collectively we are ready to approach the 42 laps ahead of us with a positive attitude and full of hope hopefully a top 10 finish is possible on Friday.”
ICON Direct will continue to grace the top spots on Balcaen’s race car in their ninth of 20 races this season.
ICON Direct is a manufacturer of high quality plastic components for the RV industry, located in Manitoba, Canada. ICON aftermarket replacement parts are available from RV dealers and distributors across North America and directly through their IconDirect.com website.
The Winnipeg native’s new venture at Rette Jones Racing will also be supported by Glenn McLeod and Sons – cementing a full roster of Canadian partners for her ARCA Menards Series rookie season.
Long-time RJR partners Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks will continue their relationship with the team in 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s #30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former racing driver Terry Jones.
Going into Mid-Ohio, Balcaen sits sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 11 points off fourth and 65 points behind championship leader Rajah Caruth.
To learn more about Amber Balcaen, visit amberbalcaenracing.com, like her on Facebook (AmberBalcaenRacing) and follow her on Instagram (@amberbalcaen10) and Twitter (@amberbalcaen10).
To learn more about Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Instagram (@RetteJones30) and Twitter (@RetteJones30).
The Dawn 150k (42 laps | 94.836 miles) is the ninth of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series calendar. A combined final and qualifying session will begin on Friday, July 8, 2022, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the SiriusXM channel. 391. , the online channel 981 handling the radio waves from 5:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also broadcast live timing and scores throughout the weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).